AG lawsuit targets 2 retail chains

By: 
Larry Limpf

News Editor
news@presspublications.com

Dollar General stores in Lucas County are among the stores targeted by Ohio Attorney General David Yost
in a lawsuit he filed against the retail chain, alleging some of its stores advertised merchandise for one price on shelves and charging a higher price at the register.
Yost announced Nov. 1 he was filing suit, saying his office received complaints from March 2021 to August 2022 about the alleged deceptive pricing practice also at stores in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Highland, Richland, Summit, Trumbull and Butler counties.
Ohio Department of Agriculture rules permit stores to have up to a 2 percent error rate on overcharges. However, Yost said testing done last month in Butler County by the county auditor’s Department of Weights and Measures found error rates ranging from 16.7 percent to 88.2 percent at 20 Dollar General stores.
The lawsuit, filed in Butler County Common Pleas Court, cites violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act, alleging the stores listed false prices on items and engaged in bait advertising.
Based in Tennessee, Dollar General has operated in Ohio since 2015 and has 943 stores statewide.
In addition to seeking monetary payments, the state is seeking court intervention to remedy the situation for consumers.
“This is appalling behavior and should be answered for in a court of law,” Yost said.
He said Ohioans who suspect unfair business practices should contact his office: www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.
An email message left for comment with the company was not returned prior to The Press deadline.
Six days after filing suit against Dollar General, Yost filed a similar suit against Family Dollar.
The Family Dollar suit was also filed in Butler County. Dollar Tree, Inc. and Family Dollar Stores of Ohio, Inc., both based in Chesapeake, Va., are listed as defendants.
“Defendants’ stores tend to be located in urban and rural locations in Ohio. When defendant Dollar Tree, Inc. acquired the Family Dollar business in 2015, the press release stated its strategic rationale for acquiring Family Dollar business was to reach a broader range of customers and geographies because ‘…Family Dollar targets low- and lower-middle income households through its urban and rural locations,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants offer sales of household goods at over 400 store locations throughout Ohio using advertisements on their shelves to display the price of goods. When the goods are scanned for purchase at the register, in some instances, the price that is charged to the consumer is higher than the price advertised on the shelf.”

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